How to Create Vertical Type in a Word Document

By Carol Finch

Although you can manually create vertical type in Word 2013 by typing individual letters on separate lines in your document, this method has limitations. Take this route, and you put letters in the horizontal position but stacked one on top of the other. This may make them look uneven; it also restricts your formatting options. Using a table cell or text box to make text truly vertical gives you a side-by-side character format and more control over position and orientation.

Create Vertical Type in a Table Cell

Step 1

Type the text you want to make vertical and select it. Open **Table** on the Insert tab and choose **Convert Text to Table**. Select **OK** to put the text in a cell. If you've already created your table, type your text into the cell whose format you want to change.

Step 2

Highlight the cell and go to the **Layout** tab in Table Tools. Select the **Text Direction** button in the Alignment area. The first time you select it, your text switches to vertical, running from the top down; select it again and it will reverse to run from the bottom up.

Step 3

Resize your cell if you need to make the text fit or if you want to get rid of excess space. In the Layout tab, select the **AutoFit** button then **AutoFit Contents**. Or, resize the cell manually using the **Height** and **Width** buttons in the Cell Size area.

Step 4

Select the **Borders** button on the Layout tab and then **No Border** if you want to remove the cell's border. Don't worry about the dotted line left around the cells -- this is a guide line and not a border that will be seen when you are finished working.

Step 5

Select **Properties** in the Design tab. By default, Word positions the cell at the left of the page and enables text wrapping. If you want to change its position, select **Center** or **Right**. To remove text wrapping, choose **None**. Select **OK** when you're done.

Create Vertical Type in a Text Box

Step 1

Select **Text Box** on the Insert tab and select **Simple Text Box**. Press **Delete** to remove the default content and type your own text.

Step 2

Select the box and go to **Text Direction** on the Format tab in Drawing Tools. Choose a rotation -- 90 degrees makes text vertical from the top down; 270 degrees runs it from the bottom up.

Step 3

Use the arrows on the **Height** and **Width** tools in the Size area of the Format tab if you want to resize the box. You may need to make it bigger to fit the text or smaller to get rid of unwanted space.

Step 4

Select **Format Shape** and then **No Outline** on the Format tab if you want to remove the border around the box.

Step 5

Select the text box. A small icon containing lines and a semicircle appears at the side of the box. Select this icon to open **Layout Options**. Word wraps the box in text by default. You can change the way it wraps text or make it position in line with text by selecting a different layout from the menu. You can also set the box to anchor into a position on the page or to move with text. To customize its position, select **See More**.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also make text vertical in WordArt if you want a more stylized type. Insert a WordArt letter and follow the steps for making text vertical in a text box, skipping the sizing and border removal steps.
  • You can move cells and text boxes around the page manually. Hover your mouse over the cell or box until you see an icon with four arrows -- use this to drag the object where you want it.
  • Text in a cell or text box takes up space on the page based on the size of the cell or box. This may affect spacing in your document, leaving you with irregular or excess lines. If this is an issue, resize the cell or box.